Caroline Penwarden

Caroline Penwarden

Worked on The Real Unreal


Caroline Penwarden is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with a broad range of musical passions including film scoring, original composition, and live performance. Through improvisation and intuition, she creates work known for a soulful vulnerability with delicate timbres and interwoven rhythms. She is inspired by music's ability to transcend cultures, space, and time, and, similarly, to move the individual to transcend the self. Her music is influenced by her childhood immersion in Russian Orthodox liturgical music and classical piano studies, intersecting with expansions into sound design, Afro-Cuban percussion, a variety of other traditional folk musics, rock, and jazz.

Caroline earned her MA in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland, CA. There she studied under recording/performing artist Fred Frith and held a position as modern dance accompanist, working with multiple dance instructors including world-renowned choreographers Molissa Fenley and Sonya Delwaide.

Caroline has performed original compositions in the San Francisco Bay Area with AXIS Dance Company at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Montalvo Arts Center, and Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, and with choreographer Sonsherée Giles at the Marion E. Green Black Box Theater at the Fox Theater, Counterpulse, and The Garage. Original film/video music scores include the stop motion animation film "The Moon's Milk" (by Ri Crawford) narrated by Tom Waits, the award-winning PBS special Nourish (Worldlink) narrated by Cameron Diaz, Matinee (Blue Artichoke Films) which won “Best Short Film” at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, and Greening the Empire State Building (Clinton Climate Initiative/Rocky Mountain Institute).

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